Whether he really meant it, or was simply saying it to be controversial, Nate Diaz levied a pretty damning accusation at the entire roster of the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion.
“Everybody’s on steroids,” Diaz said at a press conference Wednesday to promote his upcoming bout with Conor McGregor at UFC 196. “The whole UFC , everybody.”
It was the only time during the proceedings that the Stockton, Calif., appeared to get under the usually unflappable McGregor’s skin.
“Don’t be putting my name with steroids. I’m major against that,” McGregor said. “Don’t put my name with the name of steroids, Nate.”
Diaz’s remarks were serious enough to attract the attention of UFC President Dana White, who pointed to the promotion’s partnership with USADA as a sign that the Las Vegas-based promotion is working to clean up the sport.
"The UFC unquestionably has the best drug-testing program in all of sports," White told TMZ. "All done by the United States Anti-Doping Association."
Meanwhile, McGregor mentioned that two of Diaz’s training partners, Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields, both recently failed drug tests following UFC bouts. Melendez tested positive for “exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites” following a split-decision loss to Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188 this past June. Shields, meanwhile, had a victory over Ed Herman at UFC 150 overturned by the Colorado Boxing Commission after testing positive for an unspecified banned substance that he later said was a diuretic.
“Your teammate Gil and Jake were caught on steroids. I’m not on no steroids. What the f--k are you talking about?” McGregor said. “Your two teammates were on steroids. Your two boys. The Skrap Pack, remember that? Did you know they were taking that stuff?”
According to the USADA database, Conor McGregor has been tested 10 times over the course of his career, while Diaz has been tested on three occasions. Neither have failed a drug test. Both fighters will likely be subjected to pre- and post-fight drug tests by the Nevada Athletic Commission as their bout approaches, as well.
“If you are cheating, you get caught,” White said.